IBM Research packs tape punch

In a demonstration of technological prowess that underscores the continued development of tape-based data storage technology, IBM yesterday announced its engineers have successfully stored 1TB on a single linear tape cartridge.

Through a combination of tape read/write stabilisation technologies, Big Blue has managed to fit 1,536 recording tracks on a one-half inch tape - four times that of available storage tapes, according to John Teale, IBM's director of tape technology.

Application of the 1TB tape technology, which is still in the hands of IBM Research, will appear in IBM's 3590 tape product. High-end mainframe-style computers are the core market for 3590 tape products.

The required new tape drive that will run the 1TB tapes will offer users backwards compatibility to their previous generations of 3590 tape, Teale said.

But customers face up to a five-year wait for the 1TB tape technology to hit the market, as current implementations require 15 hours to write the 1TB tape.

"We need to develop performance capability to match the capacity capability that we can deliver to the market," said Teale.

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